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A good, simple, bedroom setup with headphones

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by Headless Axeman, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Headless Axeman

    Headless Axeman Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I’ll start by saying that I know next to nothing about amps, pedals, audio interfaces, IRs, ohms, eq, attenuators, DAWs, or LMNOPs. So if your response is at all technical, please explain it to me like I’m 10 years old. Seriously.

    I’m an urban dweller, in a row home, with a two year old. The great majority of my practice is when the kid is asleep. 90% of the time through headphones. Even when I’m home alone, I cant really crank it up due to neighbors being close.

    I currently just have a THR10ii. I got it thinking, hey, I can access all these great tones in one place. But in practice, it leaves me feeling like I do when I look at a Cheesecake Factory menu—too many choices! Too many variables. The app has 15 amp models, 16 cabinet models, and 22 knobs. I thought I would rely on their presets, but of the 41 presets (too many choices!), there are few I really get along with. I’m also a bit dissatisfied with the thr because I can’t really use my trio+ looper with it effectively. I have to rely on the Trio’s effects, which sound crappy.

    I know that this is a gear board, and most people on here like to tweak their tone to a precise degree, but to me, time spent on that is time lost practicing. And trust me, I need lots of practice.

    Last night, I sat down to learn the solo to Let It Be, and spent 10 minutes staring at my phone trying to get a tone that I liked; time that I’d much rather spend actually playing the guitar. It got me wondering if there was a better solution.

    So my question is: what would you suggest for a good and simple (or at least as simple as possible) bedroom/basement setup with headphones? I have this vague notion in my head that I can find an amp with a great clean tone, and then just get a few essential pedals so that I can dial in the 5 or 6 tones that I’ll use 98% of the time. Is that ... realistic? For a minute I was thinking about the tone master deluxe, but I think that is overkill for what I need.

    The details:
    - must be headphone friendly
    - playing indie/Americana/classic rock type stuff; a lot of clean tones but with some snarl and grit
    - no need to have capability to play out at this point
    - I expect to be getting into some basic home recording in the future
    - could utilize my MacBook Air, but I’m not currently using it for anything
    - budget could be up to $1,000 or so

    Thanks
     
  2. znanjeiimanje

    znanjeiimanje TDPRI Member

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    I was thinking the same thing. One 1.5yr old and another one on the way, practicing in the evenings and living in an apartment. I have 5 amps, none of them I'm able to use as I gotta keep the volume down. Same with my pedalboard.

    I went with Scarlett Focusrite 2i2, AKG K240 MKII headphones (got them because they were on sale and was a good deal, otherwise I didn't have a preference) and I use Amplitube 4 to play through. For practice, sounds perfectly fine for my tastes.

    And yes, once you move to a JCM 800 stack you have to adjust a little :)
     
  3. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

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    Roland Cube or Micro Cube. Pretty simple controls with a few built in effects. Can do clean, crunch, and lead tones. Has headphone jack.

    Alternately, you can use Garage Band on the Mac and use the amp designer there, but you'll need an Audio Interface. Of which there are many... Something simple like the PreSonus AudioBox iOne would suffice.
     
  4. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Holic

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    +1 for Mac Book route.

    https://www.guitarchalk.com/garageband-guitar/ <--- this is a great resource, just published last week

    Get yourself a large rolling adjustable computer tray to fit the MacBook and USB interface upon. Hopefully you can dedicate your MacBook to your rig. And use clever adaptations of double sided velcro tape. There will be a decent amount of cables and power supply cords so might want to tidy those up as well with plastic ties.

    Of course, you will need to go through the exercise of finding 2 or 3 of your favorite tones for everyday use, but that's par for the course. You shouldn't have to recreate your favorite tones either, you should be able to navigate to them quickly via some type of 'Favorites' function.

    I would dedicate a single night to creating 3 tones that you believe you will use as your 'go to' tones for next 3 months. And then create a practice plan and start jamming with a decent set of headphones.
     
  5. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Holic

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    There are just so many ways to play quiet these days. You can play 100 watt amps through headphones with the right setup.
     
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  6. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    just got a strymon iridium. might be what you're looking for. A lot simpler and a bit better sounding than the yamaha thr. get good cans - maybe audio technica m40x - nice and flat. Or some good open back, like sennheisers. i have monitors on the way, for even more options - nice to not have to always use headphones.
     
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  7. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Friend of Leo's

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    Hey!! Glad your still jammin and groovin in the midst of a two-year old!!
    It’s kind of low tech, but....have you looked into the AmPlug2 series from Vox?? Small headphone amp, several “flavors” (I got the “blues” one- goes from clean to gritty...) has three on-board effects that are pretty good (reverb, chorus and delay). Also has 1/8” aux in for jamming along with tunes.
    Check out some reviews on YouTube. One would certainly get you started while you sort out your budget for more home recording type stuff.
    I like what you’re saying- Often “less is more”. That’s what makes Teles so cool!
     
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  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    For simple, versatile, quiet, great sound and feel.

    1. Headphones. Katana Air Headphone Amp. Really remarkable. Why buy an amp and headphones?

    2. Non headphones. Second the MicroCube. Sounds amazing.
     
  9. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Holic

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  10. aleski

    aleski Tele-Meister

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    I've been fairly pleased with the noise I can make with my pedalboard and Audient Sono. It's very user-friendly once you find the three cabs that work for you: plug and play, no computer required. And it works well with bass, too.

    Find the manufacturer's demo here.
     
  11. KATT

    KATT Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    If it was me, I wouldn't use the Mac Book as to me, it's less simple than using a THR. I like to flip a couple of switches at most and be ready to go without firing up a computer!

    I would make up a small pedalboard, with something like the Iridium providing the amp and speaker sims. I would add a reverb pedal for ambiance after the iridium and and drive pedal before.

    To power the headphones, I would use a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (or solo) audio interface to plug the board into and use as a headphone amp (you can use it standalone without a computer). The reason I would choose this over a standard headphone amp is that you're good to go with recording when you want to start that.

    Also, if you're keeping your THR, for the 10% of the time you want to play through speakers, you can plug the Focusrite into the Aux input on the THR.

    I'm not sure of the total cost of that though, but you would have had to buy an audio interface at some point for recording.
     
  12. KATT

    KATT Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Actually, the iridium already has reverb and a headphone amp built in, so could do without a reverb pedal and audio interface to start with!
     
  13. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    GarageBand is great as it uses the Logic Pro software engine, with most of the features inc several virtual drummers, great for practice.
    Yes, you will also need an interface, I have used the Line 6 UX2 for years and that also comes with a software full of amps, pedals etc called Podfarm, so plenty to get into and all are fairly easy to use
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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  14. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

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    Guys, OP seems to know next to nothing about gear (sorry OP you admitted this yourself).

    I would recommend two things:
    1- Roland micro cube or smallest katana,
    2- you MUST spend a little time each week learning about the technical side of using gear, no way around this. You need to understand about amps, pedal types, use, and chain order, how to set up your own instrument, and basically how to "operate" the equipment you are trying to use.

    Use the forums, YouTube, and Google to find answers. Don't just say to yourself I rather play and not know these things; that's just plain wrong and will hold you back.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  15. lupowitz

    lupowitz Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a MicroCube, and while it is fantastic as a battery amp, I had difficulties making it quiter than my Trademark 60. The smaller the speaker the louder or rather more pokey the sound is, in my experience. The same, with the Trademark 10. On reasonable appartment levels it still feels louder than the TM60 with its 1X12 speker. It only wins in whisper quiet levels, that is why I switch to it after midnight.

    I don't like to practice with headphones, actually I don't like headphones, earplugs and likes at all, but if that is your only sollution, then why bother with an amp at all?
    I swear by Mr.Barta's technology at Tech 21 and the Fly Rig series of pedals just fit your bill in every aspect. Apart from the delay section they are all analogue, you have 5 version to choose from currently and all of them is equipped with a dedicated headpone amp section. If need arise, you can connect it to just about anything via its xlr and quarter inch jack out.
     
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  16. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Holic

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    Holy smokes, just watched 2 reviews of this Blues model on YouTube ... I'm sold! Ordering today. Thanks for the tip. I have an interest in this thread because I wanted a simple setup in my home office where I keep a spare electric. I was leaning toward the Spark or Yamaha but felt it was still a little too much for my own situation, this should work beautifully. I was floored by the tones on this in the videos. Thanks again.
     
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  17. KATT

    KATT Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Good shout. I have the Fly Rig 5 mk2 and use it for all sorts. In front of a clean amp, 4 cable method and amp, straight into PA, into audio interface for practice and recording.

    Are those amps not just other manufacturer's versions of the THR10ii which the OP is trying to get away from? I've not used either myself, but they seem to do the same thing broadly with a roughly equal plethora of amp and effect options. I think your second point makes sense, especially as recording is an eventual goal for the OP.
     
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  18. Jerry_Mountains

    Jerry_Mountains Tele-Meister

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    I think the Strymon Iridium is what you are looking for, just three types of amps, it have reverb and headphone output. Just plug and play and its all.
     
  19. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler TDPRI Member

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  20. SbS

    SbS Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Got a small pedalboard with Mooer Audiofile headphone amp. Mostly happy when playing straight to headphones. But only one cab sim, no tone controls, so especially when recording quite dark and one dimensional sounding.

    Had a Yamaha THR-5 too with bad power supply and tons of hum. Plus trying to stay analog as much I can. I just like knobs and switches..

    I'm not giving up easy, so tried to get along. But missing lot of tones and overtones with this setup. Ordered Palmer Pocket Amp Mk2. Let's see.
     
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